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Craft fair organizer out of business after confrontation, threats

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RACINE (WITI) -- A craft fair organizer is starting to make good on her promises to pay vendors back after an unsuccessful Holiday Boutique craft show in Racine.

A video-taped confrontation after the event shows vendors threatening to call the Kenosha Police Department and Contact 6 -- which is what they did.

Roxanne South received several complaints after her event at the Racine YMCA was poorly attended. Vendors say they paid $50 each to participate, but demanded their money back after a low turnout.

"I sincerely apologize to everyone for the inconvenience of lack of advertising. If they have not received their money yet, they will be receiving it. Be patient with me please," said South. "And I won't be doing any more vendor events or fairs."

Contact 6 confirmed that many of the 29 vendors that participated in the event have gotten their money back.

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  • D. Blank

    Seeing this more and more here in Wisconsin. I was a vendor at an event this summer that had ZERO attendance. Not a single person walked through the door. The organizer said she didn’t have any money to do any advertising when confronted. We never got our money back.

  • Traycee

    You have to remember why this woman was confronted. It was for the lack of advertising, that she was paid to take care of, not because of the very low turn out.

  • Jan's Originals

    I sell handmade jewelry and have experienced low turn out a few times. The vendors getting their money back doesn’t quite cut it. Vendors missed out on going to another venue that day where they could have made some sales. For many this is their main income.

    One big event I participated in this year had too many jewelry makers even though they claimed they reserved the right to refuse participants if there were too many duplicate vendors. Reality check – they are not going to refuse your money.

    I would love to see something similar to our downtown Milwaukee Market where there’s a building with rental spaces strictly for hand crafted artist vendors with lock up capabilities to store our goods.

  • T. Boldt

    I have done several vendor/craft fairs this last holiday season. It is the worst season I have had in a long time, as a vendor. I would say 4 out of the 6 were terrible with lack of advertising, attendance, sales, etc. I took a loss on the, fee, gas, time, etc, Have never gotten my money back for one show, let alone raise a stink about it. Understandable, but never have. If too many of one vendor, most definitely get your money back.

    It takes a lot of hard work to put a show together, I know. All monies I collect for the show I put on goes 100% for advertising. I have everything else donated or close to. So I see it from both sides. But have never asked, nor given anyone there money back.

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